For a few years now, we’ve been hearing a lot about the promise of augmented reality — technology that can add to the real world through the window of your phone’s display (or, soon to be more often, a headset!). The most famous example so far is Pokémon Go, which added Pokémon to reality on your smartphone, and massive crowds in public spaces to everyone’s actual reality. But, before Pokémon Go, one industry in particular had already caught on to the potential of AR — the beauty industry. Augmented reality beauty apps have been helping to make shopping for products much easier by allowing you to try on a range of cosmetics virtually, often without the need to so much as step into a store.
Over the past few years, that technology has been improving rapidly. One of the first big companies on the scene was ModiFace, whose first app used a smartphone to scan your face, then virtually apply product onto your face as if you were actually wearing it — something that now works in real time.
This past weekend, we found out that this technology is here to stay — ModiFace was acquired by cosmetics giant L’Oréal, guaranteeing that you’ll be seeing more augmented reality technology not only in apps, but in stores. But, chances are if you’re a big cosmetics shopper, you already know something about this — augmented reality apps and experiences have become commonplace, with magic mirrors quickly becoming fixtures at makeup stores and counters. Here are a handful out there right now!